GBMW II Photos: Phoenix 1999
GBMW III Photos: Hollywood 2001
The Glen Buxton Memorial Weekend
Since 1997 I've heard and read so many wonderful memorial thoughts on G.B..
It has been an overwhelming climax of appreciation for the blonde bomber that I
had already been experiencing since his passing. For that was the day I put
my first memorial to him online. It has been online and growing since.
Eventually, through the help of my friend James Saqui, it found it's home at
www.GlenBuxton.com and shall always stay there. Being in charge of this project
made me the recipient of loads of touching stories from all over the world.
I didn't know G.B. for long, but the thrill and having met this wonderful man who's music I respected so much was still very fresh when word came to me that he was gone. It was only seven days after working with him to provide any little bit of assistance I could for him to play a semi-reunion show with Michael Bruce and Neal Smith, along with the emporer Richie Scarlet, the high was still very much in me and the news met it like an atomic explosion between the two emotions. Such a high to such a low so quickly. I was truly devastated.
All the emotions got a chance to get restirred at the memorial weekend. It's taken me a few days of recovery to be able to come up with these words. If you were there, I think you understand. If you weren't, I don't know if billion dollar words could help you live the experience. It was even more than I had anticipated it would be. Knowing that I wanted to relate the experience to those many many fans who have written me, I made plans to find a digital camera and try to show the experience to the world of those who couldn't attend by sending pictures through the internet via my conveniently addressed site with unlimited disk space.
I didn't have much luck chasing down someone else's camera. I knew if this happened, I would buy or rent one despite the fact that I'm hopelessly in debt. I did. Being a computer geek kinda guy, I knew what features I wanted. I grabbed all sorts of odds'n'ends and drove the familiar 848 mile drive that I drove straight through to attend the funeral. I had a odd carload full of memorabilia and equipment. I had a lot on my mind and had already travelled 30 miles before I realized I forgot my laptop PC. Without hestitation, I turned back for I could not update the photos online without it. It turned out I got all the way there before realizing I also had forgotten a bag containing camcorder accessories, soothing Jack Daniels whiskey, my regular camera, blank videotapes and Sharpie pens for the autograph seekers. I obviously had heavy thoughts clouding my mind.
I arrived at 1 AM. The motel rooms were all darkened and occupied. I did not think they could be fully booked in this little town on a Thursday night, but they were. And I only made reservations for Friday and Saturday. So I pulled the car in their lot, got some cold beers out of the trunk and sat back with the radio on and drank a toast to G.B.'s ghost. I entertained myself also by doodling some thoughts about the experience on a piece of paper with a black marker. As I got more relaxed, I threw the sleeping bag across the top of the lowered cloth bucket car seat, took off my shoes and slept comfortably with the adlibbed sign in the window behind a sun shade. In the morning I walked into the hotel and wandered down the hallway. I spotted the familiar face of Bill Risoli who introduced me to one man I was very anxious to meet by the name of Paul Brenton. I knew from discussions with both of them that they had big plans. I rode with them to the Pizza Ranch where they proceeded to take over the entire back room with their decorations of Glen's life with contributions from the Buxton family and Brian "Renfield" Nelson as well as much of their own collections. Paul had very nice name tags for every expected attendee and I helped arrange them in alphabetical order on the table. I got back to the hotel after awhile and tried for just a minute to get some rest before everything started happening. Nothing doing... I got back up, showered, threw on my "Cooper's Troopers" tee shirt, unpacked a little and headed back towards the meet and greet room. I believe it was at this time that I saw Paul outside the motel speaking to someone and stopped to ask if he had yet stopped for lunch. He was having a conversation with none other than John Speer, who was the early drummer of the band in the old days. When I was introduced, I think I could only say "Oh, wow!". I was shaking yet another hand of part of the whole Alice Cooper story. A now familiar feeling.
When I first saw Neal Smith, I was thrilled that he even remembered who I was. He walked up and said "Nice to see you again" and that thill went right up my spine at those particular words. It was right around this time I started getting the slighty eerie but warm feeling that G.B. was with us. I guess because the last two times I saw Neal was when I last saw G.B. and at his funeral. Paul effectively put a face on this spirit as he created posters of all sizes with Glen's face that got posted everywhere... the hotel, the Pizza Ranch, and Little Willie's especially. I saw it at local hardware stores, restaurants and a pharmacy also. As the sign I dribbled on in the middle of the night stated, this was Buxtonville, not Clarion, on this day.